Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Guilty of Bigotry

Yesterday, Jack and I went to the Fort Worth Zoo.

It's a fairly nice zoo, but I always feel a bit sad going there because it's not an Australian Zoo.

Okay, here's the thing. At this point, I care only about Australian animals. (Well, besides the family dogs/cats and the lovely creatures that live in our backyard).

When we went to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, I complained to my husband about all the African and Asian animals. I told him I didn't get it. We're in Australia. We should be seeing Australian animals. Why do I want to see a damn giraffe?

Tim calmly reminded me that the Australians who LIVE in Australia might be interested in seeing non-Australian animals.

Oh! Yeah. Right. Forgot about those people. Oops.

So, give them their Taronga Zoo.

I preferred Sydney Wildlife World. All Australian. All the time. Like how MTV used to be for music videos. (what exactly happened with that?)

Okay. Back to the Fort Worth Zoo. They have no recycling bins and there is rarely a keeper around to talk to visitors. In my opinion, there's something very unfriendly and impersonal about that place. BUT.....I will say they have a fairly okay collection of Aussie animals.

They have kangaroos, Wallabies, Great Barrier Reef fish, a Wollogong shark, a kookaburra, some reptiles, and.....

Parrots.

Okay, compared to Australia, Fort Worth does not have many cool things. But it does have a few. And one of them is Parrot Paradise. Here you go in this large enclosure with a little food stick in your hand. Parakeets and Cockateils give you lots of love and attention.

The last time we went was before our 2007 Australia trip. Let's just say I was very much loved by the cockatiels that day. They were all over me. And I swear. It wasn't just about the food. Even when the food was gone, they still clung to me.

I felt so loved and then I got home and found out they were Australian. I was THRILLED. I thought it was some kind of nature/spiritual message.

So, today I hoped to repeat the experience.

Jack and I entered the enclosure with the food stick in our hand. Immediately, cute little Parakeets landed on the stick.

I didn't care. I was completely distracted. I couldn't see any cockatiels. Where were they? Where were my Australian birds?

It's like when you're a teenager and you go to that dance. It should be fun, but it's not because the guy you have a crush on is not there.....

Totally like that.

Finally, I spotted the cockatiels. With relief and anticipation, I dragged Jack over to the corner.

They hung out in this little corner as if they were in some kind of clique. Okay and they gave me absolutely no attention.

I felt so rejected.

What happened to the love we once shared?

After a few minutes, I gave up and watched the little Parakeets land on my food stick. Then we walked around the enclosure. We came to a sign and I read about Parakeets--suddenly wondering where they were from.

And guess what I found out.

Yep.

The little Parakeets that I had dissed earlier were just as Australian as the cockatiels.

I never knew that.



We then left Parrot Paradise and headed towards "Texas Wild". Not a bad place, but I'd love it more if it was "Australian Wild."

Actually, Jack seemed to wish this more than me. He is all into McLeod's Daughters and pretended the zoo was South Australia and that we were heading towards Drover's Run instead of "Texas Wild".

And when we got to the exhibit that has the alligator, he pretended it was a crocodile. No, crocodiles aren't from South Australia. Hey, but the kid's only six-years-old. Give him a break.